I read these books in 5th grade and highly recommend them to rising 5th graders or even 4th graders or 6th graders. Some of these chapter books were assigned as classroom reading but most of the books were for free choice reading. If you have summer reading homework as a rising fifth grader, I would recommend any of these books.
5th Grade Realistic Fiction
See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles
Even though this book is sad, I still really liked it.
One for the Murphys by Lynda Hunt
The main character, Carly, had a difficult childhood but in the end, she finds out that she can be anything she wants to be. My older sister met the author at her middle school and she says she is amazing. Carly is like the author.
Schooled by Gordon Korman
It’s about a kid with an unusual childhood and he has to go into the real world without even being in the real world.
The Candy Smash (The Lemonade War series) by Jacqueline Davies
This book was really easy but it had a nice twist at the end. I met the author at a book talk and she lives near me.
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
We read this book in school and had to do a project on it. There are individual little books inside it that make up one big story. It’s really good. We weren’t allowed to read two of the stories at school so I found it at the public library and checked it out to read them. One is about a pregnant teenager and the other is about a boy who wanted to plant something illegal but plants something else instead.
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
It wasn’t my favorite book but it was good. I wouldn’t have chosen it myself but since it was assigned, I had to read it. It was alright. I didn’t want to really keep reading. If it was my choice, I would have abandoned it. But I never would have picked it in the first place. But it was ok.
5th Grade Action Adventure
The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
This was my book club book and it got really, really good at the end. We went trapezing and that was really fun.
Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
I met Grace Lin and she taught me how to draw. Her book was good because she has little folk tales throughout the book that were interlinked and made the book make sense.
The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye
This book was very interesting because it was about this princess with a curse and a blessing.
5th Grade Realistic Fiction with Special Needs Characters
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Oh, this was soo good. It’s about this girl who can’t move or talk but she’s really smart but no one knows that.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
I met this author too. It’s about a boy who has a facial disorder and he has to go through school facing his problems and bullies because before he was homeschooled.
Rocky Road by Rose Kent
This book reminded me of One for the Murphys a lot because the mother was bi-polar and the kid had to go through life without a parent figure. It was really good.
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
That was really good too. It’s about a girl who has to face the Yellow Fever and struggles through it, kind of, mentally. More mentally than physically.
Chains (Seeds of America) by Laurie Halse Anderson
Oooh, this was our book group classroom reading. It’s a good book. It’s sad. It’s about a slave who has a crazy owner and she gets abused.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
I really liked this book because it was about the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panthers in Northern California and we don’t study that at all.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
My teacher recommended this book to me. It’s about the Holocaust. The main character is Christian but her best friend is Jewish. It’s about her escape to Sweden.
Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
It’s about a girl who is very shy but finds her voice through her best friend. But her best friend is black and she lives in a segregated community and she has to find ways to see her friend but it’s very dangerous because they don’t support white people seeing black people.
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